I’m so excited to work with you when I become your president on July 1. The past few months have reminded me that UCF is a special place because of you: our students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners who work so hard to achieve greatness.

Since April, I’ve been developing plans that focus on UCF becoming the nation’s preeminent university for generating talent, ideas and innovation. Some of the plans that will take effect soon are:

  • On July 2, UCF will launch two new colleges and a new school: the College of Health Professions and Sciences, the College of Community Innovation and Education and the Nicholson School of Communication and Media. Thanks to the leadership of our academic teams and Interim Provost Dr. Elizabeth Dooley, these changes will position UCF to be a national leader in tackling complex issues and real-world challenges in health care, urban innovation, education and communication.
  • Janet Owen will serve as our new vice president for Government Relations starting June 22. Janet comes from the University of North Florida where she was an extraordinarily effective advocate for higher education. As of July 1, Dr. Dan Holsenbeck will begin as senior counsel to the president, and I look forward to relying on Dan’s decades of experience as I begin my presidency.
  • I’ll share more changes in July, including opportunities for us to invent UCF’s future together. I’ll need your perspective — and support — to build UCF into the nation’s most impactful 21st-century university.

    As I begin my presidency, let me be clear about what won’t change: our values. At UCF, we value partnerships, diverse viewpoints and a culture of openness.

    My promise to you is that those values will be integral to our continued pursuit of excellence.

    As I’ve been preparing for the presidency, I’ve been inspired by the celebrations focused on John and Martha Hitt.

    Mary and I have enjoyed the heartfelt, well-deserved tributes. It’s been wonderful to see the outpouring of respect and affection for these transformational leaders and friends.

    Recently, President Hitt and I had a conversation about his legacy, the value of higher education and UCF’s future. Spoiler alert: I told him exactly what it will take to get me in the Reflecting Pond at Spirit Splash this year.

    I look forward to working with you to ensure that the best is yet to come for UCF.

    Until July … Charge On!